17 August 2006

Full Moon Surprise

I always knew she'd be born in August. There was never any doubt in my mind about that. She'd be late and she'd be a Leo - no water babies for the water mama.

But I couldn't have guessed she'd be born under a full moon. That almost makes up for the long wait. (Almost.)

I suppose I should have seen it coming that day. I mean, I did make her a birthday cake that morning. Not only that, the husband bought his celebratory cigar that day.

Still. I was scheduled for induction at 6AM the next morning (how obnoxiously early is THAT?) and I had resigned myself to it. So I was more than a little surprised when my water broke in the hot tub (have I mentioned how much I love my hot tub??).

I didn't know what it was at first, so I sat there for a minute weightlessly wondering. Then decided to get out because I had to pee - and found the bottoms of my tankini full of water I couldn't seem to drain off. So I went inside and used the facilities. When I stood up, liquid was running down my leg. And I knew I wasn't still peeing. That's when it finally hit me - the induction plans can get stuffed.

Off to the hospital.

I took a towel to sit on in the car, just in case I kept leaking. The husband dropped me off at Admitting and I waddled in and stood on the towel (so I wouldn't leak on their floor), while the nice lady at the desk did her paperwork.

Meanwhile the husband arrived and I told him he'd better find something for me to throw up in, just in case (I did a fair amount of heaving with Ms. Four). Ever resourceful, he came back with the first serviceable item he could find - an umbrella bag. You know, a long, skinny plastic bag that you're supposed to put a dripping umbrella bag into so it doesn't leak on the floor of the place supplying the bag. I giggled (and leaked onto my towel).

They brought me a wheelchair and I put my towel in that (so I wouldn't leak on their wheelchair) and let them wheel me upstairs. They got us into a room and as soon as I stood up out of the wheelchair, well, I didn't leak so much as gush.

"Oh, sorry!" I cried grabbing my towel from the wheelchair and flinging it down to sop up the puddle. I really felt bad for messing up the floor.

The nurse - who quickly became my favorite - just smiled serenely and said, "You don't have to use your towel, honey. You're in a hospital. We've got plenty."

She had me change into one of those hospital smock thingys, which I purposely put on backwards (that way I know what's showing) and got me hooked up to a monitor (with the volume mercifully low).

And that is when the fun began.

It isn't supposed to work this way, but labor with my second child was much, much harder than with the first. I mean, labor with Ms. Four was induced and induced labors are supposed to be "worse". Not so in my case. In my case, things got difficult fast. Difficult with not rest in between. For five hours straight. With NOTHING happening. As in, every time I'd throw up, the nurse would check me only to find that nothing had changed. I was still 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. After 1 hour, after 2 hours, after 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours: 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced.
Half an hour later, she checked me and told me we were making progress - I had finally started to dilate. To 4 cm.

Now thoroughly discourgaged and ensconced in an agony that seemed likely to never end, I asked for drugs.

It apparently took about 10 minutes for the nurse to get there (she was in the middle of another delivery), although to me it seemed like it was only a matter of minutes. When she finally got there, she checked me again. I had dilated to 6 cm.

Even in the middle of a contraction, I could hear the unmistakable note of urgency in her voice as she paged the nurses' station and told them to call the doctor. Now.

Two contractions later, I announced to anyone who would listen that I had to push.

I didn't have that with Ms. Four either. I mean, I pushed, but that "undeniable urge" you read about? Didn't have that. THIS, however, was undeniable. Hell, it was beyond undeniable. It was an unalterable, unstoppable force of nature. I couldn't NOT push.

So, of course, they told me not to push.

They weren't sure if I was dilated enough and if I wasn't dilated enough and pushed, I might tear my cervix, which would put me in serious doo-doo. I understood this, so I tried my best not to push. I did. But pushing was happening, whether I wanted anything to do with it or not.

They turned me over onto my back, sitting up somewhat (more than with Ms. Four), and presented me with handles that popped up from the hidden depths of the bed. Some other doctor I had never met came into the room, told me his name and then they told me I could push. I grabbed them handles and four or five pushes later, Ms. Baby was born.

The nurse told me afterwards that I was her hero. I guess they don't see a lot of women give birth without an epidural there (I'll pass on the needle in the spine every time, thanks). And she said she'd never seen anyone smile while they were pushing. (Smile? I could hardly wait for the next contraction.)

So there you have it. The arrival story of my full moon baby, my little Leo (whose mane has yet to grow in...).

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